13 days after fundoplication

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Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/25/2013 6:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all

I had my fundoplication 13 days ago.

I can't say that things are better. I know it's still early days. I'm still getting the chest pain it's not heartburn. It feels like it's the oesophagus that goes into a spasm but it can last for hours. I have noticed that when I get this pain I also get the shoulder pain. I don't get the pain all the time.

I know that people will say that the shoulder pain is due to the gas but my surgeon said that it's referred pain due to the diaphragm being irritated. It certainly was irritated because it had to have stitches due to the hernia.

I still feel that I have reflux but the surgeon assured me that I don't. I think I have reflux due to the fact that my tongue is still white and tingly. I also feel a warmth in the throat.

I always seem to wake up with the feeling of a lump in my throat but that disappears after I've eaten. Although swallowing in the morning is always more difficult but that soon passes and the rest of the time I don't seem to have a problem swallowing.

I'm due to see my surgeon tomorrow to see if he can answer some of my concerns.

I'm sure I'm not the only person to have had these problems after surgery and I am hoping that it's all due to the internal healing taking longer than I expected.

I read some peoples posts on the internet and they appear to get over the surgery with no problems and are back at work 2-3 weeks later. Which then starts me thinking that mine hasn't worked.

I guess that I have to just give myself more time and hopefully it will settle down.

Maria

StephanieJean
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Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 11/25/2013 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I had the terrible horrible shoulder pain from my diaphragm being irritated.
the children's liquid motrin helped a lot with that. 13 days is really not that long.
I would say, It was about a month before I started feeling normal again. Give it time. I know easier said than done, but really things should get much better. Some people swell more than others, some take longer to heal.

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/25/2013 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks StepanieJean

I am hoping it's all down to swelling but of course I worry that it hasn't worked.

Like I said I'm seeing my surgeon tomorrow so hopefully he can put my mind at ease by answering some of my questions and explain some of my symptoms.

Maria

StephanieJean
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Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 11/25/2013 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Its always helpful to talk to the surgeon about it. I hope that he can help you out.
I just know how painful that shoulder pain can be. It felt like my arm was going to fall off!

LnghrnFan
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/25/2013 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry you don't think the surgery helped :(  I hope your surgeon can shed some light on why you still seem to have symptoms.  Praying that you just need more time to heal and that you will find some relief soon!  Blessings.

RobUK74
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 11/25/2013 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

I had my surgery in October and can tell you that what you were experiencing I was as well. I did have strong painkillers that I had to take for two weeks after discharge from hospital together with blood thinning injections and surgical socks. I was on a liquid only diet for the first two weeks, progressing slowing to a pureed diet which is where I am now. I'm not able to tolerate more fibrous foods yet (such as chicken even when pureed). I'm now four weeks on and all has settled down.

As for the shoulder pain, i sometimes get it but find that strong paracetamol (2x500mg) stops it immediately.

I'm now in week five of recovery, and feeling much better for the surgery, but still a long way to go - I really get the feeling that there are very different recovery processes whether on your in the UK (like me) or the USA - am not sure why.

So from a UK perspective - I was told the following - expect to be on a liquid diet for at least the first two weeks (very true), move slowly onto a pureed diet (very true again) focussing on small portions and six meals a day (again very true), as and when you can tolerate a pureed diet move onto the next stage of soft foods (some things I can tolerate - others are just not working right now) and when comfortable slowly move to a more substantial offering.

From reading on here some of the great contributors talk about it taking six months for a full recovery and others faster and slower than that.

My main learning is that I have to listen to my body, and to my tummy, rest when necessary and get out to walk as well (which whilst tiring moves things through). I have had to be extremely patient (not very good at that) and take each day as it comes - I have my up days and my down days. However, I don't have any reflux anymore or any burning sensations, which is a massive up side.

I'm not sure what post operative checks you had but I had to endure a barium swallow 48 hours after my operation which showed that the operation had been a complete success - did you have the same done? If not, it might be worth asking your consultant?

I wish you well and hope this is of some comfort and help.

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/25/2013 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rob

I've not had a good day today I woke up with chest pain. This subsided in the morning but then I've had heartburn and a burning throat for most of the day. I know that this isn't normal after surgery and that's why I don't think it's worked.

I'm due to see the surgeon tomorrow about all of this. I may ask about the barium swallow because I'm sure the surgeon will want to know also why it's not worked and I definitely want to know if there's a problem with the wrap or the hernia repair.

Did you have a full wrap? I had a 270 degree wrap.

My surgeon just said to eat a soft sloppy diet for a few days then gradually introduce more foods but to be honest I haven't had any trouble swallowing food. I did try toast today which felt like it got stuck so I won't be trying that again for a while.

My main problem is that I still seem to be getting reflux causing burning and chest pain.

Hopefully I'll get some answers tomorrow.

Maria

TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 11/25/2013 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the nissen about 7 weeks ago... I've been far worse since. The burning in my throat, stomach and chest don't respond to anything. Not sure why it's much worse... Idk if this is from the procedure and will reside or that It's continued reflux either. Let us know if it gets better.

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/26/2013 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
TheSIXness

Did you have a hernia repair at the same time as your nissen? I'm hoping that all of mine is caused by the swelling but I'm not sure either.
I know some say that it takes weeks to see any improvement and yet for others they see an improvement straight after surgery.

Maria

Wilmariley
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/26/2013 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I took Motrin for the shoulder pain instead of narcotics. It definitely helped as 4 hours later the pain would return. Took about 2 weeks to go away. I also had stitches with a large hernia and my Dr. Also said it was from that.
Good luck. Soon you will be through this stage!

TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 11/26/2013 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I had the hernia repair also. Not sure how long it will be before I feel better. I'm waiting till about 3 or 4 months to go back to my surgeon and do tests. I know if my food it gets stuck, it comes right back up.
-TheSickness-

RobUK74
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 11/26/2013 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

I am so sorry to hear about your day (yesterday). I hope you got some answers from your consultant today?!

It really sounds to me that your consultant has given you some very different direction as to mine. For information I had a paraesophageal hiatus hernia and was due to have a total nissens but like you ended with a 270 fundoplication, mainly due to the extent of the hernia.

I have to say the first 48 hours after were grim and I had a lot of morphine in recovery and continued on a morphine drip for the next three days, in addition to the pain killers.

Where we have gone different is the speed of diet - my consultant and dietician were most insistent on a liquid diet for the first two weeks at least, then onto a pureed diet and slowly onto a soft diet (which I have started today but already ruled out pasta).

From what you write it does sound that the reflux is there, so I hope your consultant has agreed to you having a barium swallow - at the very least!!

My consultant has been insistent that diet and following it by the letter is key to recovery - go too fast and it doesnt allow the healing to take place. I'd be very happy to share the diet plan if it would help!

Let me know how it went!

Rob

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/26/2013 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rob

I went to see my surgeon today and had a long talk to him. He said that he thinks all is ok and it's just due to the healing. He said some people get results straight after surgery and others it takes longer. He's very confident that the surgery's worked.

I was told on the morning of my surgery that a slight hiatus hernia was found on the barium swallow after they had tweaked the images. I asked my surgeon after surgery how many stitches I had had to make the hiatus smaller he said three - which he told me was quite a big hole. So I assumed that a lot of my stomach had been sliding through.

My surgeon isn't opposed to tests but wants to give it more time to see if it settles down which I'm hoping it will cause I don't really want more tests. I feel like I've been poked and prodded so much recently!

I stayed in hospital for one night and only had liquid paracetamol and anti sickness drug. I only took paracetamol for about three days when I came home to help with the pain.

Did you suffer with heartburn with a paraesophageal hernia ? I've heard that some people do and others don't and some don't even know that they have a paraesophageal hernia until it's seen on the scan.

It would be great if you could send me your diet plan. Maybe I have been rushing eating to soon and it's caused irritation. Although I did follow my surgeons advice and he is a good surgeon with lots of experience and he specialises in hernia repairs.

Thanks for the help and advice.

Maria

RobUK74
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 11/26/2013 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

I cannot tell you how excruciating my heartburn and reflux was before my operation - to the point sometimes I had to be violently sick to get rid of the excess acid. My gastroenterologist could not believe how raw my Oesophagus was and when it came to the first barium meal it was unbelievable to see how faulty my valve was - it was like seeing a firework rocket launch!

I knew about the hernia after my second endoscopy but it wasn't until the third that we did the maths and realised the harm it was causing. I know how you feel about the prodding and poking. All the tests before going ahead with surgery were quite uncomfortable albeit very necessary!

Wow that was a quick stay in hospital for UK standards, I was in for five nights! Which I know is not the norm but it did help me with really understanding the diet and I have a great dietician who I can email at anytime which has been really helpful.

I'm thinking it may help for other UK (and non UK) readers out there if I write in more detail about my experience and progress - there is so little out there!

Just wish there was a recipe book as well! I will gladly send you the diet sheets - am not sure how though! Do you have email?

Keep strong, keep smiling, and keep using this fantastic support network!

Rob
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